CURRENT PROJECTS

For many people living in the Netherlands, it goes without saying that clean water comes out of the tap and that we are safe behind our dikes and polders, protected against floods. We have an unshakeable faith in our governments, knowledge institutions, consultancies and implementing parties, which take care of this on a daily basis.

The Netherlands is a land of water

This is no surprise if you take a look at our history. The tensions between the economic advantages of living in the delta and the struggle against water have led to the Netherlands becoming a land of water.

Change and innovation

A lot has changed since 1953, with its terrible floods. Water is attracting increasing attention worldwide, because climate change is making deltas more vulnerable and, in many countries, access to clean drinking water can still not be taken for granted. Awareness is slowly growing that water is a commodity that we need to handle with care.

In view of these changes, it is important that, as leader, the Netherlands continues to reinvent itself and innovate. It is essential that we continue to share our knowledge and continue to innovate, within the borders of our country in cooperation with government agencies, knowledge institutions and market parties, but above all beyond those borders, because water knows no bounds. It flows, evaporates, freezes and melts, and falls on the land as rain. You can wash in it, store heat and cold in it, transport goods on it, play with it, and convert it into energy. Water is an element that connects.

The importance of standardization

Willemien Bosch, Water consultant at NEN: “It is important for the Netherlands to keep sharing knowledge and innovating. Standardization is one means that can be used for this purpose. Using standards, products and systems can be certified, which increases comparability, creates transparency in the market and makes room for new developments. The goal is to achieve: ‘Clean water and dry feet for all’ and the Dutch market’s share in bringing this about. That is why water is high on NEN’s agenda and it is one of the organization’s top priorities.”

The more the Dutch market shares its knowledge of the water sector, the greater the influence it will have on dictating the common language to be used. The Netherlands has a lead as regards knowledge, but in order to maintain this lead and boost exports, the country needs to play a pioneering role in drawing up international agreements.

Read below about the initiatives, projects and standardization that are already taking place in the water sector.

Projects & standardization trajects

Waste water systems

This standards committee gives overall direction for standardization in relation to waste water systems and products. This concerns the installation, construction, maintenance and refurbishment of collection, transport and purification facilities.

Hydrometry

The science of measuring and analysing water, ground levels. sediment transport, precipitation and evaporation, including methods, techniques and the instrumentation used in hydrology.

Environmental quality

This platform, with laboratories, experts, consultants, government agencies and other stakeholders, reaches agreements and exchanges ideas in the areas of soil quality, environmental aspects of building materials and residual and waste materials, water quality, environmental analyses, sludge and water beds; and regarding opportunities that have been identified, but also limitations.

Swimming pools

Standards are very important in guaranteeing the safety of swimming pools. Standardization with regard to swimming pools focuses on a variety of subjects: water slides, flotation devices, design and management of swimming pools, hygiene and accessories.

Drinking water provision

In the Netherlands, a total of 1,100,000,000,000 litres of water are used per year (2007). Of this total, households take 0.8 trillion litres and the rest is used by industry, agriculture, etc. This overarching standards committee for the drinking water sector deals with all issues related to drinking water.

Waste water engineering

Waste water is water that is no longer of use to the consumer, and that the consumer therefore wants to get rid of. Under the Environmental Protection Act every municipality in the Netherlands is obliged to collect through its sewerage system the waste water discharged within its borders. There is standardization in the area of systems and products for the purposes of installing, constructing and repairing pipelines and purification facilities for waste water.

Plastic pipeline systems

Standardization and the establishment of European technical regulations take place in the area of plastic pipeline systems. This goes from plastic pipelines in water management, such as sewage pipes, drinking water pipes, gas pipes and heating pipes, to the use of plastic in the distribution and sewerage networks.

Central heating and warm water appliances

A boiler is an appliance to heat water, using electricity or by burning gas or heating oil. This committee’s area of activity includes gas and oil-fired central heating boilers, with or without integrated warm water production.

Sewerage for buildings

The priority for the committee is the standardization of sewerage systems for buildings. From the design, installation and testing of indoor plumbing, whether or not ready-made, in houses and flats, and blocks of flats, to utility buildings. This involves the systems for rainwater disposal as well as waste water disposal in and around buildings, and water disposal on commercial sites.

Functional characteristics of mains water installations

Mains water is water that is transported through pipelines. Substantial infrastructure is necessary for delivering mains water. Apart from the pipes, there is also the need for pumps and/or water towers, purification facilities, water meters, etc. In this committee, the NEN 1006 standard is maintained, among others.

Sanitary appliances

Standardization in the area of sanitary appliances concerns connection sizes, product characteristics and sustainability of toilet bowls, urinals, bathtubs, shower bases and walls, and whirlpool baths, made of ceramic, plastic and other common materials.

Geoinformation

Geoinformation involves data containing a localization, such as cadastral data, file information, weather forecasts and topographical maps. Standards are needed for geoinformation in order to be able to use and exchange this data. The aim of the project is to set the standards in a way that optimally reflects the interests and expertise of all the parties involved.

Geotechnics

Geotechnics concerns everything that has to do with being able to build on, in and with the ground, or underground. This often involves the foundations of buildings and other constructions. The committee works on standards and standardization regarding: testing the design of geotechnical constructions and foundations, geotechnical soil investigation (including soundings), and describing and classifying soil for the purpose of civil engineering and architectural applications. An emerging area of activity encompasses geohydrological and geothermal testing and implementation standards.

Gas and oil extraction and production

The area of work of this standards committee encompasses standardization of materials, equipment and offshore constructions for the oil, petrochemical and natural gas industries, excluding pipelines and LNG installations and equipment.

Climate control in buildings

The standards committee determines policy for the area of activity ‘Climate control in buildings’. This focuses on, among other things, the thermal characteristics of buildings and ventilation, but also calculation methods for the heating and cooling requirements, and the airtightness and damp-proofing of buildings.

Ecology

The area of activity of this standards subcommittee is the standardization of methods for taking water samples and determining those samples (fresh water and seawater) to determine their biological characteristics.

Water quality

This standards committee forms a broad platform where laboratories, experts, consultants, government agencies and other stakeholders reach agreements on the development of environment-related national, European and international standards. The committee’s area of activity includes soil, water and building, residual and waste materials.

Field work and sampling

This committee manages and develops standards that improve the uniformity and quality of implementation, and facilitate the exchange of information between clients and contractors on working methods in the area of environmentally hygienic research in water (specifically waste water, surface water, drinking water and groundwater), soil and water beds.

Hydraulic engineering, wave and tidal stream generators (water power)

Water can play a significant role in generating sustainable energy. Standards have been in place for traditional hydropower plants for a long time, the first standard for marine energy was recently established and other standards are under development. In the Netherlands, with its location by the sea and an abundance of inland water, there are many parties interested in extracting energy from water. The market requires unambiguous agreements and standards are a good way of achieving this.

Inorganic parameters

This committee works on standardizing methods for the analysis of inorganic parameters in water, soil, water beds, sludge, and building, residual and waste materials.

Floating construction

In 2011 a Dutch technical agreement (NTA 1118) for floating constructions was published. This agreement clearly sets out requirements, associated validation methods and conditions for floating constructions and amphibian hybrid forms destined to be used as residential or commercial properties, as well as access to the bank or quayside. The NTA focuses on the structural aspects, utilities and spatial planning aspects. It is currently being considered whether a review of the current NTA is desirable. The principal recommendations for such a review are harmonization with the latest version of the Buildings Decree and expansion of the scope to include laying foundations in soft soil. If you are interested in taking part or would like more information about the project, please contact Willemien Bosch.

Living roofs

This standards committee published the Dutch technical agreement (NTA 8292) for living roofs at the start of 2017. This NTA provides evaluation methods for the performance of the living roof as a whole in its structural engineering application. The NTA represented a first step in determining the effects of the roof landscaping system on roofs in relation to wind resistance, water retention and fire hazard. It is currently being considered whether it would be a good idea to supplement the current NTA to cover connection to the urban water management system. If you are interested in taking part or would like more information about the project, please contact Arnoud Muizer.

Fire safety aspects of building products and building parts

Text still to be written

Microbiology of the food chain

One single standardized analysis method can be used to determine the presence or the number of microorganisms. A large number of standards are suitable for showing microbes in various product groups such as animal feed, dairy products, meat and fish. Most standards describe sampling and analysis methods for microbiological investigations, for example for detecting Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria monocytogenes.

Influence of materials on drinking water quality/water treatment chemicals

When chemicals are used in purifying drinking water, we want to use tests to determine the final concentration of these substances in drinking water. Standards are also established and maintained for this purpose.

Microbiological parameters

This group of experts works on developing NEN/ISO standards for microbiological analysis methods, specifically for water and sludge. Through sound agreements on analysis methods, for example, representative, reproducible and comparable results are achieved. One current issue is legionella.

Organic parameters

This committee works on standardizing methods for the analysis of organic parameters in water, soil, water beds, sludge, and building, residual and waste materials.

TALKING ABOUT WATER

It is important that, as leader in the water sector, the Netherlands continues to reinvent itself and innovate. It is essential that we continue to share our knowledge and continue to innovate, within the borders of our country in cooperation with government agencies, knowledge institutions and market parties, but above all beyond those borders, because water knows no bounds. It flows, evaporates, freezes and melts, and falls on the land as rain. You can wash in it, store heat and cold in it, transport goods on it, play with it, and convert it into energy. Water is an element that connects.

The more the Dutch market shares its knowledge of the water sector, the greater the influence it will have on dictating the common language to be used. The Netherlands has a lead as regards knowledge, but in order to maintain this lead and boost exports, the country needs to play a pioneering role in drawing up international agreements.

NEN is keen to talk to other parties about:

  •  water problems of the future;
  •  how we can work together to strengthen the competitive position of the Netherlands;
  •  how we can promote integrated cooperation;
  •  new projects and collaborations.

Enter your details so that we can contact you or send you the information requested. You can also contact us directly on +31 (0)15 2 690 391 or at water@nen.nl

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